LEGO Ideas

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  • A few small maintenance fixes on LEGO Ideas

    Today we’re happy to share a few small maintenance fixes that will make a big difference for some peoples’ experience on LEGO Ideas.

    1. Login Issues. First, some people have reported not being able to log in, or being logged out soon after logging in. Our developers have improved the way the LEGO Ideas site works with LEGO ID. Hopefully logging in (and staying logged in!) is now more reliable.
    2. Search Bar. In the search bar, the magnifying glass icon is now clickable. While you could always press Enter, many were confused not being able to click the icon. Click away!
    3. Comment Replies. Replies to comments will now appear in chronological order, so you can read a comment thread from top to bottom, instead of bottom to top. This is similar to Facebook comments, though we only nest replies one level. If you want to see replies the old way, use the arrows at the top of a project's Comments tab.
    4. Commenting on the Blog. Comments on blog posts should work much better now. We fixed a bug that was causing some comment replies to not show. Also, all members are now able to comment on the blog. Thanks to those of you who reported that you couldn’t comment, we’ve found the problem and fixed it for you.

     

    Thanks to everyone who wrote us about the issues above and we hope you enjoy the improvements. If something doesn’t work as you expect, or you experience other technical issues, don’t hesitate to write us at support.ideas@LEGO.com.

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  • Nine Projects Qualify for the Third 2015 LEGO Review

    • third 2015 review
    • lego review

    The Third 2015 LEGO Review qualifying period ended this Monday morning, January 4th at 12:00 a.m. Billund Time. There was quite an exciting race to the finish as the Concorde Display Set, National Park Service Centennial Vignettes, and Victorian London Christmas qualified this weekend, some with little time to spare!

    In total, nine amazing projects 10,000 supporters between September and January. We're thrilled to have the opportunity to consider the following projects in the Third 2015 LEGO Review:

    Jurassic Park Explorer

    20.000 Leagues under the Sea NAUTILUS

    Toyota Landcruiser 40 Series

    Beatles Yellow Submarine

    HMS Beagle

    Apollo 11 Saturn-V

    Concorde Display Set

    National Park Service Centennial Vignettes

    Victorian London Christmas

    Second 2015 LEGO Review Results Pending

    We're wrapping up the Second 2015 LEGO Review and will share those results of these projects with you over the coming weeks:

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  • Third 2015 Review Deadline Monday

    • review
    • third 2015 review

    The New Year (and the Third 2015 LEGO Review deadline) is almost upon us. To be considered in this review, projects have until the stroke of midnight at LEGO HQ in Billund, Denmark on Monday morning January 4* to reach 10,000 supporters. So, take the last day of 2015 and the first weekend of the new year to spread the word and support your favorite projects! Projects that reach 10,000 supporters after midnight on Monday qualify for the First 2016 review period ending Monday, May 2, 2016.

    Second 2015 LEGO Review Results Coming Soon

    After the holidays, we'll wrap up the Second 2015 LEGO Review and prepare our announcement. There's some exciting news to share in just a few weeks ... so hold tight!

    What is the LEGO Review?

    When a LEGO Ideas project reaches 10,000 supporters, it goes into the "LEGO Review." Our LEGO Review Board considers each project's potential as a LEGO set, using a process similar to the one used for our own LEGO products. For more info on the LEGO Review, check out the "What is a Project?" section of our Project Guildeines and House Rules.

    * Past deadlines were on UTC/GMT. Since minifigures' circadian rhythms are set to Billund time, we made the switch to Central European Time, or GMT+1.

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  • More (original) ideas wanted!

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    • original
    • ideas

    When you visit various LEGO fan sites and Facebook pages over the next month, there’s a good chance you will run into our “Creative Ideas Wanted” campaign. Kicking off on the 26th December and continuing until the end of January, the aim of the campaign is to encourage people to take up the challenge of designing a model that could become the next LEGO product.

    Of course we already have many great ideas – over 5,000 active right now – but we’d love to have even more.

    Many of your submissions are based on classic movies and TV series. We want to see more original creations such as the Exo-Suit, Birds and the soon-to-be-launched Maze; product ideas that start from scratch and that aren’t based on existing properties.

    We hope you will join us in this campaign to encourage LEGO fans to take a look at LEGO Ideas.

    timcourtney

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  • Interview with Andy Clark, fan designer of 21304 Doctor Who

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    • 21304
    • andrewclark2

    Andy Clark, fan designer of the LEGO Ideas Doctor Who set, took the time to share his LEGO building history and some reflections on building and promoting his project. Check out what he has to say, and see some great photos of the proud designer and his official LEGO set!


    Tim: How long have you been building with LEGO bricks?

    Andy: I first started building with LEGO with my brothers, I was around 6 and my older brother had the LEGO Technic 8860 car. Soon he, my younger brother, and I were also buying sets, and we got to a point where we had enough to make what we wanted. We used to build vehicles and smash them together to see which design was strongest! Of course I would never do that now, I'm like the dad from the LEGO movie, “don't touch my LEGO!” but back then it was fun! We also built safes and the challenge was to find out what combinations of parts and movements would open it. When I went to college all the LEGO we had went to my nephews.

    What inspired you to build this model and put it on LEGO Ideas?

    Around 2013 I got back into LEGO. I found forums, and LEGO Cuusoo, which is now LEGO Ideas. When LEGO Ideas announced they would accept Ideas based on Doctor Who, the thought of combining my two interests was too much to resist. This and the thought of having an official LEGO set based on my design inspired me to create a design and put it on LEGO Ideas.

    Did you run into any challenges when designing these models?

    The two biggest design challenges with my set proposal were the console and the TARDIS box itself. Getting the console six-sided was a challenge, as there are only a few elements that would allow this. The Technic wheel pulley made it possible.

    For the TARDIS, I wanted to create the most accurate detailed LEGO model I could, while allowing it to open up and emulate being “bigger on the inside .” These two goals were initially at odds with each other; I didn’t want to sacrifice the exterior looks for the opening feature. Visually for the exterior I wanted the 1x3 tiles with the Public Call Box text, to protrude out further than the other TARDIS side details, but doing so put them further out than the center point rotation of the hinge plates. As a result the hinge plates would not rotate open.

    After a lot of iteration the solution was to have the 1x3 tiles attached to a hinge brick, and they rotate up to allow the hinge plates to open up the TARDIS. An added benefit is the hinge bricks when down act as a lock, making sure the exterior TARDIS did not open when the intention is playing or handling it closed. It feels only right that since the real TARDIS folds space and time, that the LEGO version folds too. 

    What did you do to promote your project?

    I knew David Tennant is very popular with Doctor Who fans, so I made sure to heavily promote his character in my project using social media and Doctor who fan sites. I also tried to get the sites with the highest viewing figures to do a feature, or post to help promote. Buzzfeed did an article and helped get around 25% of votes needed. My wife Susan also helped to promote. A video of the set in action helped too.

    What advice can you give to other LEGO Ideas members with active projects?

    Getting my project to 10,000 votes took as much work promoting as it did designing. Promote and update your project on a fairly regular basis to maintain momentum. Think of relevant sites to promote, in my case Doctor Who fan sites. Add a video showing the build in action and its play features. If you initially build in a 3D program such as LEGO Digital Designer, update with photos of the model built with physical LEGO as a proof of concept. Many times I have built in LDD then when I built in real LEGO issues related to stability came up, and I’ve had to make design changes for the physical model. My designs are usually overly complex at first; the skill is finding a more simple, and more structurally sound design that maintains the look and feel as much as possible. Building physically also adds peace of mind so if it reaches review when built by LEGO designers it will work. Try to think of fun updates, extra options for the set, milestones, thanks for 5000 supporters, links to where it's been promoted, and engage supporters in the comments. These things all help keep the interest up.

    In closing, I’d like to thank Sam and Adam for taking my design and turning it into an official LEGO set. A big thanks to the whole ideas team, and everyone involved in the process of making this an official set on shelves. It truly is a dream come true.

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  • WALL•E is making a comeback soon!

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    • wall•e

    Dear LEGO® Fans,

    We’re happy to share that we’ve resolved the neck stability issue on 21103 WALL·E, and the set is making its way back very soon.

    “Only the Best is Good Enough” has been the LEGO Group motto for over 80 years, and it’s still our guiding principle today. This is especially true for our LEGO products; we expect them to deliver a consistently enjoyable and safe building experience for everyone. Unfortunately some customers have had issues with neck stability on our LEGO Ideas WALL·E. Therefore earlier this fall we decided to stop production and sale of WALL·E and fix the model.

    Some of you, our creative LEGO fans, have suggested different solutions to improve WALL·E’s neck stability. Thank you for all of the input and advice, it’s been very helpful. We’ve taken your suggestions into consideration, and together with our design team have a solution that will make the neck more stable.

    Our factories in both Mexico and the Czech Republic are preparing to pack and distribute the new version of 21303 WALL·E as soon as possible. We expect WALL·E to be back on the shelves before the holiday season. Actual availability may differ between regions, so check the WALL·E LEGO Shop page for the latest info.

    Thanks for understanding our commitment to the best possible building experience, and for the extra patience (and even a few laughs) as we all wait for WALL·E to have his neck fixed. We’re sorry for disappointing LEGO fans, both those who’ve had an unsatisfactory building experience, and those who are now frustrated they can’t buy the product. We hope you are also looking forward to the new and improved LEGO Ideas WALL·E model when it arrives!

    LEGO Ideas Team

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  • Doctor Who: The Fan Show interview with Andy Clark and Sam Johnson

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    • doctor who

    The day to order your LEGO Ideas Doctor Who set has arrived at last! To celebrate, our partners at the BBC present a very special Doctor Who: The Fan Show. Watch as Christel meets LEGO Ideas member Andy Clark and LEGO designer Sam Johnson and hear what they have to say:

    21304 Doctor Who Materializes Today

    Head over to the LEGO Shop to secure your copy of 21304 Doctor Who, based on AndrewClark2's Doctor Who and Companions project. Here's the official product description:

    Construct a stunningly detailed LEGO® version of the iconic TARDIS® and role-play the Doctor’s time-travel adventures! Created by fan-designer Andrew Clark and selected by LEGO Ideas members, this set is based on the BBC’s popular and long-running television series about a Time Lord – the Doctor – exploring the universe in a blue police box. Due to trans-dimensional engineering, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside and this cool multifunctional set includes the console room that houses all the flight controls. Regenerate the Doctor and defeat the evil Daleks™ and a Weeping Angel with the help of his extraordinary companion Clara. Then close the doors of the TARDIS and launch into another dimension! Includes 4 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: the Eleventh Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald and a Weeping Angel, plus 2 Daleks™.

    Happy building!

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  • Interview with a LEGO Designer: Sam Johnson of Doctor Who

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    • doctor who
    • andrewclark2
    • sam johnson

    “The idea of this set is a transition between Matt Smith the Doctor and Peter Capaldi the Doctor. It was an idea of BBC’s to have more than one Doctor, which I wanted as well because that’s part of the fun of series.”

    You might know Samuel Johnson as the LEGO Designer who worked with Andrew Clark to design LEGO Ideas 21304 Doctor Who, but his connection to the TV series go further than that – his uncle, actor Paul McGann played the 8th Doctor on the series.

    “When my uncle was hired as the Doctor, it had a big impact on my family. I had a poster of him on my wall, it was sort of aspirational like, ‘I want to be as cool as that.’”

    After a fan of Andy’s project tweeted it to Paul McGann, the actor responded saying he’d be happy if the set was produced, on the condition that his nephew designed it.

    When it came time to choose a designer for the project, Sam volunteered.

    “[LEGO Ideas designers are] really chosen if they have any real interest in what the Idea team wants to do, because you can see the passion that goes into a model.”

    That passion came into play through some of the challenges Sam faced while working on the model.

    “We knew that the fans really want LEGO Doctor Who, we’ve seen all the requests, so we thought we should go with a middle price point where we can achieve a lot more in a model. We were able to include some really cool characters, and a model which is bigger on the inside.”

    Sadly, this meant some elements of the original project had to be changed or even removed to make the model perfect for this middle price range. Another difference is the complexity of the model, since Doctor Who fans are often as young as five years old, the model had to be easy enough for young builders, while having as much playability as possible.

    Original project by AndrewClark2

    Final model

     “The original way to connect the interior of the TARDIS with the blue box was just with one stud. I discussed with Andy a lot, and it needed to be able to fly…if you pick up this model and it’s attached by one stud, the blue box wouldn’t come with it, or vice versa. So we made it so you can actually pick up the model and it’s stable.”

    A surprising challenge turned out to the exact color of the police box.

    “At the very beginning, I built it in standard LEGO blue, and [the license partners at BBC] were not fans at all… I had tons of images of it, and in every one I swear it was normal blue. And then they actually sent me a photograph of the actual prop, which turned out to be much darker.”

    Then they learned the the LEGO DIMENSIONS™ team was also working on a Doctor Who level pack and fun pack for the LEGO DIMENSIONS video game. To make each product as unique as possible, the design of the 12th Doctor varied between the two products. The LEGO Ideas set is modeled after a specific episode, and the outfit Peter Capaldi’s Minifigure is wearing appears only in this episode. In the Dimensions level pack, the 12th Doctor is wearing his daily outfit.

    On the left, the LEGO Ideas Doctor, on the right, the LEGO Dimensions Doctor,  

    The Daleks in the LEGO DIMENSIONS Fun Pack are also designed differently, and there were many different versions of the design.

    “There was a big discussion on which Daleks to include, because there are many designs of the Daleks, many colors of the Daleks.”

    Ultimately, they decided to go with the only style of Daleks the 12th Doctor had then faced, the gold/copper color Dalek, seen above on the left.

    “I’m really excited to see the comments people have about this set. I’m looking forward to seeing how people will customize it.”

    Learn more about the latest LEGO Ideas set, LEGO Ideas 21304 Doctor Who, available beginning December 1st.

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  • First 2015 LEGO Review Results: A different kind of announcement

    • 2015 first review

    Today we share the outcome of the First 2015 LEGO Review, for LEGO Ideas projects that reached 10,000 supporters between January and May this year.

    Usually we happily announce project(s) will become the next LEGO Ideas product(s), but unfortunately this time we're not able to do so. For a number of reasons, none of the projects that qualified during this period were selected in the LEGO Review; this has never happened before and we’re very disappointed to pass on this news, especially because we know the huge amount of effort each member put into creating the models and campaigning for their projects.

    F7A Hornet – Star Citizen

    We are continuing to look at the Star Citizen project, but unfortunately the others will not be taken further.

    Why did these projects not pass the LEGO Review?

    While we don't share specific reasons why an individual project did not pass, there are a number of reasons why projects don't make it through the review process. For example:

    • Perhaps we can’t come to an agreement with the companies who own the Intellectual Property rights to the models or characters involved, or it is possible companies are just not interested in having a LEGO version of their product.
    • Other projects sometimes come too close to a number of the products that the LEGO Group already has today or has plans for the near future.
    • Some projects can challenge the rules we have on safe and good building experience for all LEGO builders. We can also have difficulties simply producing some of the larger projects with the production capacity we have for LEGO Ideas.


    It is never easy to reject any project, and we are very disappointed that we couldn’t announce the next LEGO Ideas product here today.

    2015 in Summary

    On a more positive note, 2015 has been one of the strongest years for LEGO Ideas. This year alone we’ve seen the launch of Birds, The Big Bang Theory, WALL:E and now Doctor Who. Next year the amazing LEGO Maze will be launched through LEGO Ideas, and we’re looking at the great projects in the Second 2015 LEGO Review.

    Looking Ahead

    The Second 2015 LEGO Review features some strong projects and this review period is already well underway. We hope next time we can give you all the happier news of the next LEGO Ideas set!

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  • LEGO® Ideas 21303 WALL•E Availability

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    • wall•e

    Dear LEGO® Fans,

    In order to make the LEGO Ideas set 21303 WALL·E as fun as the character in the movie, we created the model with the ability to turn his head all the way around. Since the model has been launched we have received feedback from fans who feel WALL·E’s head moves a bit too freely. Feedback from our fans is very important for us and we’ve decided to take their advice and make some improvements to the set. Our designers are currently working on some small changes to the model. Therefore the LEGO Ideas Set 21303 WALL·E is currently not available at shop.LEGO.com and in some LEGO Stores. Once the reworked version of the model has been finalized LEGO WALL·E will make a full return. For the latest updates on availability, please visit WALL·E on shop.LEGO.com.

    If you have any more questions, please contact LEGO Customer Service and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you further.

    Kind regards,

    LEGO Ideas Team

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  • Introducing LEGO® Ideas 21304 Doctor Who

    • 21304
    • doctor who
    • andrewclark2

    You might have thought it disappeared into a crack in space and time, but today we're excited to finally share pictures and details about the LEGO® Ideas 21304 Doctor Who!

    AndrewClark2's Doctor Who and Companions was too great for just one Doctor, who we decided to include two! You can buy yours  December 1st, in time for the Doctor Who Christmas Special, for a recommended retail price of USD $59.99 / EUR €59,99. You might want to keep an eye on that Weeping Angel though....

    Here is the official product description:

    Construct a stunningly detailed LEGO® version of the iconic TARDIS® and role-play the Doctor’s time-travel adventures! Created by fan-designer Andrew Clark and selected by LEGO Ideas members, this set is based on the BBC’s popular and long-running television series about a Time Lord – the Doctor – exploring the universe in a blue police box. Due to trans-dimensional engineering, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside and this cool multifunctional set includes the console room that houses all the flight controls. Regenerate the Doctor and defeat the evil Daleks™ and a Weeping Angel with the help of his extraordinary companion Clara. Then close the doors of the TARDIS and launch into another dimension! Includes 4 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: the Eleventh Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald and a Weeping Angel, plus 2 Daleks™.

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  • Nine Projects Qualify for the Second 2015 LEGO Review

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    • lego review

    The Second 2015 LEGO Review qualifying period ended this Monday morning, September 7th, 12:00 a.m. GMT. Nine incredible projects reached 10,000 supporters between May and September. We're thrilled to have the opportunity to consider the following projects in the Second 2015 LEGO Review:

    Brick-built Adventure Time figures

    Caterham Super Seven

    Modular Library

    Lothlorien

    LEGO Physics

    Ghostbusters: Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

    Indominus Rex

    The Hobbit-Rivendell

    The Little Prince

    First 2015 LEGO Review Results Pending

    We're wrapping up the First 2015 LEGO Review and will share those results of these projects with you over the coming weeks:

    What is the LEGO Review?

    The "LEGO Review Board" reviews projects that reach 10,000 supporters and consider them for production using a process similar to the one used for our own LEGO products. For more info on the LEGO Review, check out the "What is a Project?" section of our Project Guildeines and House Rules.

     

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  • Second 2015 LEGO Review Deadline Coming Soon

    It's that time again! The next review qualification deadline is coming up in just under a week: early morning Monday September 7th, 12:00 am GMT. If you have a favorite project you want to see considered in this review, it's time to get supporting and spreading the word.

    Projects that reach 10,000 supporters after midnight on Monday can still qualify for the Third review qualification period ending Monday, January 4, 2016.

    First 2015 LEGO Review Results Coming Soon

    Throughout this summer, the LEGO Review Board has been hard at work determining the results of the First 2015 LEGO Review. It will be several more weeks before we're ready to share, so stay tuned.

    What is the LEGO Review?

    When a LEGO Ideas project reaches 10,000 supporters, it goes into the "LEGO Review." Our LEGO Review Board considers each project's potential as a LEGO set, using a process similar to the one used for our own LEGO products. For more info on the LEGO Review, check out the "What is a Project?" section of our Project Guildeines and House Rules.

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  • Interview with Angus MacLane of WALL•E

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    • interview

    “I was inspired to build a LEGO® WALL•E shortly after I started working on the WALL•E feature film at Pixar in the fall of 2005. The character had yet to be completely designed, so I was in a unique position to create a LEGO [model] at the exact same time as the subject matter was being developed.

    Angus MacLane with WALL•E, photo by Jeremy Lasky

    Angus MacLane got to experience the LEGO Ideas development process both as the fan designer of the set, LEGO® Ideas #011 WALL•E, and representing Pixar as the licensee approver for the model.

    “When I started this project, it was so early in the design process of WALL•E that his final coloring had yet to be determined. So I first built him in light gray and then later went back and rebuilt him in the iconic yellow.”

    You can see the original model below.

    The model went through many revisions over the next decade, including challenges related to the trends the eyes.

    “In 2005, when I started building WALL•E, the largest tread element was only 3-studs wide and this was a little on the small side for the scale of the model.”

    In 2007 however, a 4-stud wide tread was used which was not only the right scale, but looked more accurate.

    “The other area that went through the most revision was the head and binoculars. I was convinced that I was never going to be able to figure out a solution for the raised ridge around the eyes at the scale I had chosen.  So I initially went for an eye design that sought to mimic the ‘impression’ of the eyes but was technically off-model.  That was the best I could do, unless LEGO was going to make some sort of human scale binocular element.”

    Just the element he needed came out in 2012, and as you can see from the image below, it really made a big difference.
    “That was a huge lesson for me. If the right element doesn’t yet exist, just wait a few years.”

    Of course, LEGO Ideas (or even LEGO CUUSOO, as it was known when it launched), wasn’t around in 2005. When Angus built his model of WALL•E, it was just for fun. After he became familiar with  LEGO Ideas, he knew WALL•E would be a good fit. And in just over a year, it had reached 10,000 votes.

    “It took a lot of time and energy to get 10,000 votes, especially for a character that is as well-known as WALL•E….It felt a little like starting a rock band and trying to get people to come see your shows. You tell your friends to go and see you and at first, they do... But then, after one or two gigs, your friends don't want to come see you anymore because you only have three or four songs and they don’t really like bluegrass-punk-fusion.  So how are you going to generate new friends and new interest?”

    Luckily, fellow LEGO Ideas members were able to offer helpful happy to give advice. Angus started posting updates to his project, and soon found that updates revising the model itself had the biggest impact.

    “Reworking and improving the design was the shot in the arm the project needed. This led to more exposure and blog posts that resulted in more votes and more momentum.”

    This momentum kept the project on the “Popular this Week” panel on the front page of LEGO Ideas, which helped highlight it to new visitors.

    “The LEGO Ideas folks always say that just getting the 10,000 votes is a true achievement by itself, and let me tell you, if anything, they are understating it.  Hats off to anyone who has been able to do it.”

    Angus also found a lot of his supporters on Social Media sites such as Twitter. The director of the WALL•E feature film, Andrew Stanton, also got involved.

    Andrew Stanton with the model

    “Andrew was a big supporter of this project on social media and that really boosted the profile of the project. Perhaps most of all, it was the character WALL•E that was the biggest boost to the project. People love this character. I’m proud of the model, sure, but it’s the character that people relate to, and the character that they voted for.”

    “I still haven’t fully processed that WALL•E is going to be an actual LEGO set. What a dream come true.”

    About Angus

    If Angus’ name seems familiar to you, it might be because he’s no new face in the LEGO adult fan community. He created the CubeDude ® building format.

    Everything started 37 years ago, when a two and a half year old Angus was given the LEGO 425 Forklift (his parents ignored the age recommendation).

    “Almost instantly, those 17 interlocking pieces became my favorite toy. I brought it with me everywhere until one day I accidentally got the pieces hopelessly mixed in with another kid’s LEGO collection.  My parents sifted through the giant LEGO pile, but after a lot of searching, it was clear they were not going to be able to successfully resurrect the whole model. I was inconsolable. On the way home we stopped and got a replacement set. My parents believe that this early trauma of losing my very first LEGO set was responsible for my lifetime obsession.”

    One final thing from Angus…

    “I just wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank to the entire LEGO Ideas team, and specifically Daiva Staneikaite Naldal who managed the project and Design Lead Steen Sig Andersen. I know that for confidentiality purposes, we’re not supposed to talk about the depths of the LEGO Ideas development process, but let me tell you this: I found the whole experience to be a total joy. We worked together for months in a truly collaborative process. Everyone was incredibly patient and accommodating in sharing the LEGO experience with an outsider like me. The LEGO Ideas process has made me a better builder and yielded a LEGO WALL•E that is better than I could have ever imagined. For that you have my sincerest thanks.”

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  • Introducing LEGO® Ideas #011 WALL•E

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    • maclane

    At long last, we're delighted to introduce you to WALL•E.
     
    LEGO Ideas member MacLane is an animator and director at Pixar Animation Studios, and built his original WALL•E model around the same time the character was being built digitally at Pixar in late 2005. Since then, Angus has refined his model, most recently by collaborating with LEGO Designer Steen Sig Andersen and WALL•E director Andrew Stanton to bring the official LEGO Ideas version to life.

    You'll be able to purchase your own WALL•E starting September 1, for a recommended retail price of USD $59.99 / EUR 49,99. Editor's note: corrected US price 9/2/2015.

    This weekend: Catch Angus MacLane and Daiva from LEGO Ideas at D23 Expo

    If you just so happen to be at the D23 Expo this weekend in Anaheim, CA, stop by the Pixar booth at 3:00p as Angus MacLane signs WALL•E boxes, and again at 4:00p as Angus joins a panel discussion with Daiva, LEGO Ideas' very own Business Manager, where they will discuss building WALL•E and bringing the design to life as a LEGO Ideas set.

    Here's the official product description:

    Build, display and role play with WALL•E! Construct the LEGO® Ideas version of WALL•E with posable neck, adjustable head and arms, gripping hands, opening trunk and rolling tracks.

    Build a beautifully detailed LEGO® version of WALL•E—the last robot left on Earth! Created by Angus MacLane, an animator and director at Pixar Animation Studios, and selected by LEGO Ideas members, the development of this model began alongside the making of the lovable animated character for the classic Pixar feature film. It has taken almost a decade to perfect the LEGO version, which incorporates many authentic WALL•E characteristics, including a posable neck, adjustable head, arms that move up and down and side to side, plus gripping hands and rolling tracks. With a trunk that opens and closes, you can tidy up the planet one pile of garbage at a time! This set also includes a booklet about the designer and the animated Pixar movie.

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  • Guest Post: Ellen and Glen Review their 21302 The Big Bang Theory

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    • review
    • 21302
    • tbbt
    • alatariel
    • glenbricker

    Here’s another guest post, this time with the minds behind the Big Bang Theory project, Alatariel (Ellen) and GlenBricker (Glen). Glen and Ellen often review LEGO sets, so they had an interesting time reviewing a set they inspired.


    The two builders met for the first time in person at Brickworld: Chicago in June 2015. Prior to this, they had only chatted via email, IM, and Skype while working on the project. Here's the review, in their own words:

    LEGO invited us to do a review of LEGO set 21302 The Big Bang Theory.  Obviously we can’t claim to be impartial as we submitted the project to LEGO Ideas and this is the resulting set, but we will do our best to approach this review with a critical and fair assessment.

    Initial Thoughts

    Critical LEGO fans will point out that The Big Bang Theory LEGO set is simple, and they are for the most part accurate.  It is a basic apartment with shelves, a small desk, and some furniture.  The techniques used are rather direct; however, even a casual fan of Big Bang Theory can tell you that this set is a very accurate representation of the quintessential stage.

    The challenges in this design are about recreating the apartment to Minifigure scale and dealing with the classic issues that lay within, such as keeping people from noticing that Minifigure feet don’t touch the ground when they sit ;) and the set does that quite well.

    The true creativity in the set comes from the little gems that bring the set to life: the desk lamp, telescope, the black chair, and the curtains for example.

    We would not be surprised to encounter these tiny details accentuating a variety of projects in the future.

    Proposal vs. Final Design

    Orginal model

    Official Set

    We were totally floored to see how closely LEGO and Warner Brothers kept to our original concept.  Certain licensed items didn’t make it, and that is unfortunate but understandable.  The DNA display is likely the biggest change.  Most of the subtle differences, we assume are due to part part/color availability.

    Ellen, as a geoscientist, would have really liked to have had a printed globe.  Glen as a serious comic book fan was really hoping for printed “nanofigs” but accepts that their lack of branding makes them more useful.

    Unique Feature: Visual Depth

    Photos just don’t do this set justice.  One of the very novel things about this set is the density of content and openness of the build.  The individual elements are not complex or advanced, but when you have it in front of you, it really comes to life!  The build has a level of depth that is unheard of in traditional LEGO sets.  As you view it from a variety of angles it just really pops out at you.  

    Figures

    Of course, The Big Bang Theory is not about an apartment, it is about the misadventures of an ensemble cast.  This set showcases SEVEN figures!  We were so thrilled that LEGO included every major cast member from the show and it is very cool that this set expands the diversity of LEGO Minifigures.

    The figures in the set excellently portray the iconic styles of the cast with their torso prints, facial expressions and hair selection.  

    We were extremely happy to see that Sheldon has two tone arms (long blue sleeves with short red sleeves) and his iconic Flash t-shirt.  It was a little disappointing that he did not come with the extra-long legs but the expert way in which the artist captured Sheldon’s disgruntled and giddy expressions more than makes up for it.  

    Of the remaining characters, Howard and Raj are closest to our original submissions with Howard even having a game controller inspired belt buckle!  The “Weasley” hair from early Harry Potter matches Howard better in our opinion but that would have required bringing back a very singular part.

    Penny is perhaps the most different.  We would rather see her in short sleeves or bare arms to help give her figure some more visual distinction.  

    All the expressions are fantastic but Glen particularly likes Leonard’s “urm” expression and Ellen likes Bernadette's “Howard!” expression.

    Printed Elements and Stickers

    Of the printed elements, the take out boxes and the instrument panel are our favorites.  We can see the instrument panel getting a lot of mileage in pulpy and historical builds, not to mention as a radio.  The take out boxes are going to be a hit.  They can add a little more dimension to any build as is or as an integrated visual accent.

    The whiteboard with Pictionary on it is a fun call out to the show.  For those still trying to figure it out we won’t spoil it for you here, but we will tell you it is from episode 3,13 “The Bozeman Reaction.”

    One of the stranger aspects of the set is the picture on the closet.  The original art is a painting inspired by Dempsey and Firpo by George Bellows in which classic popular toy robots have replaced all the humans in the original painting.  What a licensing nightmare!  This picture is replaced with depiction of an empty boxing ring which is a little unusual.

    Conclusion

    This set hits its goal spot on, recreating a famous apartment and an iconic cast.  The straight forward nature of the design, while utterly accurate, might leave some non-BBT-fans wondering what all the commotion is about but the finer details should appeal to even the most reserved LEGO fan.

    Editor's note: In case you missed it, watch the video of Ellen and Glen talking about how they collaborated on the project:

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  • Video: Interview with Ellen Kooijman and Glen Wadleigh on The Big Bang Theory project

    • 21302
    • tbbt
    • the big bang theory
    • alatariel
    • glenbricker

    Earlier this year, I had the privilege of sitting down with the two LEGO Ideas members behind our latest set, 21302 The Big Bang Theory. Watch as Ellen Kooijman (Alatariel) and Glen Wadleigh (GlenBricker) tell their story of collaborating online to create and promote their project, and what it feels like to have their work immortalized as a LEGO Ideas set.

    Oh, and stay tuned! Later this week, we'll share a guest post by Ellen and Glen with a review of the final set, after they had the chance to build it themselves.

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  • Guest Post: Brent Waller of Ghostbusters shares tips for an effective project

    • ghostbusters
    • brentwaller
    • 21108
    • lego ideas tricks

    Here at LEGO Ideas, we’re trying something new; guest blog posts by invited members! To kick this off, we’ve invited Brent Waller to share some of his thoughts and tricks for creating and promoting projects. Aside from his Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary project, which reached 10,000 supporters, passed the LEGO Review, and was released as 21108 Ghostbusters Ecto-1, he’s also the creator of a number of other projects which either didn’t reach 10,000 supporters and expired, or didn’t pass the LEGO Review.

    The article below was written by Brent, and any opinions expressed are not the opinions of LEGO Ideas or The LEGO Group.

    Guest Post: Brent Waller of Ghostbusters

    I’m Brent Waller, Sara from the LEGO® Group has asked me to summarize some tips and tricks to help people on their own projects. I’ve broken down some of the more important things I’ve learned from my successes and failures on LEGO Ideas in the hope that it helps out the next batch of up and coming projects to reach their full potential.

    Probably the most important element of your project outside of your actual creation itself is the main image. Like a movie poster or a book cover, you have to try and encapsulate everything that’s awesome about your project in one single image.

    In my opinion, the most important part of the main image is the thumbnail. The thumbnail is the small version of your main image that is displayed when people browse through LEGO ideas. Unlike the main image on your project page, which can be any combination or height and width, the thumbnail is always a specific width and height ratio (roughly 4:3). What this means is that unless you create your main image for the project page in the same ratio, you will lose some of your main image when it’s presented as a thumbnail, either from the sides or top depending on the ratio of your original image.

    Example A: As you can see this image crops well to 4:3 (top right), no useful information is lost, but the background is distracting and takes away from the creation.

    Example B: This taller image contains more of the final project but when seen as a thumbnail (top right) the image becomes really noisy and it's difficult to focus on one element of the project.

    Example C: This is the final image I used for the Ghostbusters project, no useful image is lost from the side when viewed as a thumbnail ( (top right) and the "idea" of the project is clear, although you can't make out all the details it's enough to attract a LEGO member user to click the thumbnail and find out more.

    You can’t stop at just the cover image, however, any supplemental images should serve a purpose. We just need key shots from the important angles and showing off the key details. I’d personally aim for around 6 to 8 including the main image.

    Revise before you submit

    With your photos and text in place, check over your project yourself a few times, check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, check your photos to make sure they’re the best you can make them. You only get one chance to make your main project page so don’t leave anything out. Once it’s submitted there’s no more editing, while you can add updates, for the most part your project is locked down.

    If you’re not happy with it when you launch your project, it’s very unlikely other people will be impressed by it either. Leave no doubt in your mind that your project is the best it could possibly be!

    Reach out

    This is where most of your support will come from, in my opinion. There’s people who are regular visitors to LEGO Ideas who comes to browse and find the latest projects, and just by putting it on Ideas you’ve already done all you can to reach those people.

    With that in mind you need to reach out to new audiences, but you can’t just spam your project on any old website, forum or social media. Sure you can post it on your own Facebook or twitter account a few times, but after the 5th time, you’re just annoying the friends and followers you do have!

    What you need to do is think, “what kind of person would like my project?” If it’s based off a TV show, film or existing real world thing, then fans of those would be the first place to share your project. For instance, my Ghostbusters project I shared the link on Ghostbusters fan websites, forums. If your project is say, a recreation of a classic car, then finding car enthusiast sites and forums for that car is the best place to go. If you’ve made an awesome project and presented it well, those people will help share your project and spread the word on your behalf and you’ll go (for the lack of a better word)...viral! Creating videos to promote your project are a great way to achieve this if you have the know-how.

    On top of direct, targeted sharing like that, there’s a ton of LEGO related fan-sites, forums and social media groups you can share your project on. But be respectful of the communities and don’t spam. Once is enough up front and then perhaps again as you reach important milestones like when you’ve reached 1,000 votes, 5,000 and then again towards the end as a final push towards 10,000 votes.

    It’s all on you.

    Everything is in your hands, first of all it’s up to you to create an awesome project, and then you have to “sell it”. If you do everything right your project should sell itself by people spreading the word for you.

    In conclusion

    When I was about 7 or 8 a salesman for LEGO Education sets came to my school to show off the new kits our school had just purchased. Being the huge LEGO fan I was, as he was leaving I vividly remember tugging on his shirt, when he turned around I asked him, "What do I have to do to become a LEGO designer?" He replied, "You need a degree in engineering." I had no idea what that even was at the time, nor did I know if that was actually true or not, but it felt beyond my reach and abilities at the time. There's a lot of work to do to create your LEGO Ideas project and promote it to reach 10,000 votes but nothing beats the fulfilling a life-long dream of having a LEGO set on the shelves you were responsible for getting created, all without having to study engineering for years on end

    --

    Have questions for Brent? Ask them in the comments below. Also, stay tuned for more guest posts from selected LEGO Ideas members. 

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  • First look: LEGO Ideas #010 The Big Bang Theory

    • the big bang theory
    • 21302
    • alatariel
    • glenbricker

    At long last, here it is ... the upcoming LEGO Ideas The Big Bang Theory set!

    Our professional model designer Steen Sig Andersen and graphic designer Mathew Boyle worked to keep the set design as true as possible to fan builders Alatariel and GlenBricker's original submission, while also working in LEGO design DNA and collaborating with our licensing partners. Mathew says he had a lot of fun bringing elements like Sheldon's 'smile,' Howard's trademark smirk and Bernadette's scary side to life in the minifigure characters.

    Here at LEGO Ideas, we can't wait for you to be able to build your own model of Leonard and Sheldon's living room, complete with the minifigure cast of The Big Bang Theory. The set contains 479 pieces and will be available starting August 1 for a recommended retail price of $59.99 US / EUR 59,99.

    Here's the official product description:

    Indulge your inner genius and build this LEGO® version of Leonard and Sheldon's living room as seen in the hit American sitcom The Big Bang Theory! This set was created by two LEGO fan designers-Alatariel from Sweden and Glen Bricker from the USA-and selected by LEGO Ideas members. Featuring loads of authentic details to satisfy all The Big Bang Theory devotees and including minifigures of all seven main characters from the show, it's ideal for display or role-play fun. Includes 7 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Leonard, Sheldon, Penny, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette.

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